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Shell accused of importing arms and ammunition into the Niger Delta over a decade ago

Falana Writes IG, Accuses Shell of Importing Arms

By Tokunbo Adedoja, 06.09.2008 

Mr Femi Falana,  counsel to the leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Mr. Henry Okah,  who is facing treason charges before a Jos Federal High Court, has written to the Inpector General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro, alleging  that the Nigerian Army and Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria Limited are involved in the   proliferation of arms and ammunition in the Niger Delta. 

In the letter titled:  “Request for Certified True Copy of Approval given to the Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria Limited to Import Arms and Ammunition to the Niger Delta”, Falana  applied for a certified true copy of an alleged approval dated 20th July, 1994 given to Shell to import arms and ammunition to the Niger Delta. 

Falana, who hinged his application on Section 36 (6) of the 1999 constitution, said he traced the proliferation of arms and ammunition in the region to Shell and the Army in the course of preparing  his client’s defence. 

The letter reads:

“We are Solicitors to Henry Okah who is currently standing trial for treason, treasonable felony and related offences at the Federal High Court. 

“Specifically, our client is alleged to have committed treason by providing 250,000 assault rifles, General Purpose Machine Guns, Rocket Propelled Launchers/Canisters, Bazookas and assorted ammunition to armed groups” in the Niger Delta to levy war against the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

“However, in the course of preparing our client’s defence, we traced the proliferation of arms and ammunition in the Niger Delta to the Nigerian Army and the Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria Limited. 

“In the circumstances, we hereby apply for a Certified True Copy of the Approval dated 20th July 1994 given to the Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria Limited to import arms and ammunition to the Niger Delta. 

“It is hoped that this application will be favourably considered having regard to Section 36(6) of the Constitution which provides that every person charged with a criminal offence shall be entitled to be given “adequate time and facilities required for the preparation of his defence”.

http://www.thisdayonline.com/nview.php?id=113624

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